When we got into Oakdale we knew we were too exhausted to make the 35 miles to Sonora the next day, especially not with our full (small) packs. We discussed having Rebecca’s dad pick our bags up, or pick us up half way. We finally settled on having him pick us up in Knights Ferry because Tim’s ankles were hurting from walking on the angled edge of the road. It looks flat on the paved shoulder, but try walking 30+ miles on it and you’ll know it’s definitely not flat. Knights Ferry is only 14 miles into the walk but a 14 mile day followed by a 21 mile day would be two relaxing days in a row.
We left Oakdale before sunrise, and made it to Knights Ferry by 11 and got the scenic drive back through the Red Hills and Chinese Camp to Twain Harte (Rebecca’s) home town. The drive was amazing and made us appreciate how much more slowly we observe our surroundings on foot. However, eating lunch with Rebecca’s dad and then showering and relaxing were all so needed after many long hard days, so we weren’t sad about our decision.
We started our day at 530am and stopped at a donut shop with excellent donuts and obviously regular customers.
We found some great pathways that kept us away from traffic for a bit along the way, which is always welcome.
We discovered today that cows like us walking alongside the roadway. So do horses, but they mostly just stare, cows follow along on the walk. We had one cow, and eventually her whole herd, follow us for over a quarter mile! Tim became fast friends with her.
After our early finish, we were ready for a 21 mile day the next morning. Rebecca’s dad dropped us off at 6am and we walked up the hill toward Sonora. It was the first time on The Walk that a police officer stopped to ask if we were ok. More specifically he said “you guys are ok, right?” Of course, we responded with a happy yes, and that we were walking across the country! He didn’t seem to care as long as he didn’t have to do anything so we all continued on our way.
We even thought about hitch hiking (but not really)!
We were hoping to make it to Jamestown in time to meet Rebecca’s grandma for lunch as a surprise, but we didn’t quite make it. Rebecca got a stomach ache at Chicken Ranch Road and highway 108 and decided to take a 30 minute nap under a tree. She thought it was a great nap, Tim was bored because his phone didn’t have signal. Then he realized his shirt was on backwards for the last 7.5 hours! Luckily, we made it to Jamestown in time to see Rebecca’s grandma leaving from lunch so we were able to get some pictures with her!
After stopping for a great Mexican lunch, we made our final 3 mile trek into Sonora. Rebecca’s mom met us by the Sonora city sign and took our pictures on the train. She even walked to Sonora Used Books with us to remember Matt Mattingly who walked across the country many years ago after opening the bookstore. He was 59 years young and completed his walk in 1990, many years before Google Maps. Rebecca met him in the 90’s (but didn’t know his accomplishment at the time). That was going to be our starting location after our break day!
Of course, we rode in the car up to Twain Harte where we were again able to shower (not yet realizing what a luxury it is).
Today(s) we walked through:
Knights Ferry (we didn’t really walk through this)
Rebecca: 32,857 steps and 54,852 steps
Tim: 30,180 steps and 51,739 steps
179 miles finished